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Oyster Bay reappoints one to town ethics board; two seats remain unfilled

Oyster Bay Town Hall on March 27, 2016.

Oyster Bay Town Hall on March 27, 2016. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

The Oyster Bay Town Board has reappointed an ethics board member but the five-member panel remains at less than its full complement with three members serving.

Margaret Eaton,  a former commercial aviation manager, was reappointed to the board for a five-year term on Jan. 29.

Eaton was among the five appointed to a reconstituted board in 2017. A series of resignations left the board with just two members — not enough for a quorum — in the early months of  2018. A third member was appointed in May and the ethics board resumed meeting, but the town board has not appointed additional members. Last year the ethics board failed to meet at least once every three months as required under the town code.

The ethics code, which was adopted in 2016, states the board can have no more than two members registered to the same political party. The ethics board has not included a Democrat for more than a year. Voter records show it currently has two Republicans and one member who does not belong to a political party.

“They should go with two Democrats,” Oyster Bay Democratic spokesman Robert Freier said of the vacancies, adding the ethics board should be split evenly between the two major national parties. “If there’s one Democrat, there should be one Republican."

Oyster Bay Town spokesman Brian Nevin said in an email, “Several candidates from differing political parties are under consideration for nomination to the Board of Ethics.”

Oyster Bay is the only town or city in Nassau County where Republicans have greater voter enrollment than Democrats, county Board of Elections records show. In Oyster Bay, 37 percent of voters are registered Republicans, 32 percent are Democrats, 25 percent do not belong to a political party and the remainder belong to third parties. Oyster Bay's nine elective offices have been held solely by Republicans for more than a decade. 

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